Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the tag “Decathlon”

Tottenham Court Road v Wilmslow Road, take me home

London has a habit of draining you more quickly than a visit to The Trafford Centre. Sometimes it is uplifting; sporting occasions, big events, trips with children – fantastic. But being down here for a day’s work, even with the ease of the Pendolino reminds what I love about living and working in Manchester.

I have had a successful day here. Done the deal, power shaken and been part of the metropolis on the day we celebrated our renewed sporting
prowess and organisational skill with a dash of open-hearted humanity.

But the thousand tiny cuts that such a commute makes to your humanity has me reaching for the dictionary to re-define parochial as “Home Sweet Home”. Each time I am down here I realise how much I have changed my priorities. I have a hour so to kill. In the past it would have been reaching for my diary, heading for bar and looking for an experience.

Now I am sitting in a coffee shop on Tottenham Court Road surrounded by technology shops thinking how much better this would be with Didsbury Son next to me hurrying me to drink up for a look around.

He would be in heaven at the idea of rows and rows of shop fronts stacked with Beats headphones, XBoxes, Samsung, Sony and all things micro-chipped. Didsbury Son would be prodding, playing,grabbing and dropping everything he could before talking me into buying him something just beyond his own understanding, and therefore way beyond mine. Technologically I peaked at Kinder Eggs and electronic game wise it was Donkey Kong.

He would lose interest in it on the way home and before it was shoved in a drawer, re-packaged for a minor cousin or eBayed it would remind me of a day out.

Similarly Decathlon and any sports shopping is always immeasurably
dull without our game of covering up all the team shirts of which we disapprove with those of a more acceptable hue.

This game of red and blue cat and mouse with the staff is up there with pants on the head in the amusement longevity states.

So, until the next half-term break or weekend when we can sneak off and turn a dull task into a snigger fest I will be a dutiful Didsbury Dad. I will make my calls, send my mobile emails and mooch around the shops looking for a suitable little gift for him, before buying something crap from Euston as I rush for the train having found a bar to while away the time.

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Christmas Preparations 1: Keeping the faith

A picture of restaurant fish and chips with no bearing on the content of the blog

Watching Didsbury Son grow up makes Christmas different every year. His sudden sense of self and what is cool, a.k.a “sick”, a.k.a. “bum”, a.k.a. “top” (c.1985) means we are on the cusp of a change.

The major part of him wants to indulge the love of reindeer, snow, endless sugar and plastic toys.  This general month-long spoiling is the  magic of Christmas. Being little at this time of year is a great gig, who wouldn’t want to keep it going for as long as is possible?

But a growing part of him wants to be adult, to be surrounded by screens, hang his jeans below his waist and to begin the process of disbelief.

We have been here before. In 2009 Didsbury Son announced that he knew the Tooth Fairy did not exist and it was me (usually a day late and scraping change), or more efficiently Didsbury Wife (on time and with shiny coins). Breath was taken in sharply and with all seriousness we told him the truth.

The tooth fairy is very touchy, always getting hassle from the elves and the Easter Bunny, like all bullying it makes her insecure. If you say out loud she doesn’t exist… She stops coming until you apologise and admit she does. This direct approach works. We had previous experience when he announced, aged 6, that he thought he might support the red team. His suitcase came down from the wardrobe and we sadly explained that he would have to go and live elsewhere; but Santa is a whole different story.

Being Jewish has been useful in this conundrum. I am neutral in the battle of logic over love. I am also a staunch believer in magic and was brought up to believe that fairies, elves and goblins live happily among us and love Chicken Soup and kosher meat.

So this year the question of whether Santa exists has not been asked. The letter was dutifully written and contained a good balance of the unlikely, the un-buyable and the un-missable. We have an unmentioned truce. Although there have been knowing looks and nods, it’s all quiet on the existence front.

The elves stay hiden making Christmas Presents for good boys and girls

Our pastry for mince pies is in the fridge ready to roll and we have discussed what Santa likes to drink. Questions about why Santa left a receipt for Decathlon lying around last year have been swept under the carpet until Didsbury Son develops a greater handle on rationalism or I give up on trying to interest him in football.

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